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Liverpool's £38M Brazilian Target Chooses China

Alex Teixeira becomes the latest in a conga line of big-money signings to join the Chinese Super League.

Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez. Diego Costa. Willian. Mohamed Salah. Henrikh Mkhitaryan. All players who have been used as sticks to beat Liverpool - or it's owners or managers or transfer committee - with for the club's inability to close transfer deals. Unwillingness to spend money. Ineptitude at identifying talent. Whether these arguments hold any actual merit is debatable. One thing that is highly likely, however, is the assumption that at some point in the coming year, Alex Teixeira will be added to that list and used as an example of Ian Ayre's comical incompetence. There'll probably be a motorcycle joke.

Teixeira joined Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning - where he will be managed by former Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu - on Thursday for a fee reported to be around £38m. Or €50m. Roughly €20m less than Shakhtar Donetsk president Rinat Akhmetov claimed he would cost, and around €18m more than Liverpool were willing to offer. The weekly wage packet is rumoured to be around £150k. He joins Ramires, Jackson Martinez, Fredy Guarin and Gervinho in making the lucrative move to China this winter.

With the chance for such a massive payday coming along, one can hardly blame Teixeira for moving to Nanjing, although any semblance of hope he'll ever feature for the Selecão is now probably gone. Similarly, it'd be unreasonable to fault the Reds for not taking the £76m gamble this transfer would represent. As hot as Teixeira's season in Ukraine has been - and 20 non-penalty goals in 26 apperances is pretty hot - there were always question marks about how his game would translate to the Premier League and how he'd fit into a side overloaded with attacking midfielders, but lacking thoroughbred strikers.

Liverpool need reinforcements; that much is clear from their performances and league position. Teixeira would probably have improved the starting XI. However, Liverpool also have limited funds, with FSG committed to the Financial Fair Play rules, and more than one hole to fill. As such, splurging a full season's transfer budget on a single player, and one that is yet to prove he can replicate his league form at a higher level of competition, would've been a massive risk.

We're unlikely to ever find out if Teixeira has what it takes to set the Premier League on fire, but Liverpool's search for improvement does not start and end with the Brazilian. On to the next one.

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